South Gippsland Beekeepers Newsletter
March 2015 Issue #34

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From our President


Well a lot has happened and is happening in 2015.  Firstly, we have had members extracting honey for the first time and we were lucky enough at our first meeting for the year, to have Mark Leech offer his services as our guest speaker.  Mark was involved in the Landcare event the following evening and as he was here a day earlier kindly offered his services to us.  A very interesting and informative evening was had.
On Friday the 13th of March on a very stormy evening was the  Landcare event which was held at the Berrys Creek hall.  This event proved to be extremely successful with over 120 people attending. I would like to thank Jenny, Kate and crew from Landcare on the organisation of the event.  It was extremely well run.  The feedback we have received since the meeting is the interest shown in people hosting beehives on their property.  As a club, if we go down this path, we have to devise a plan to accomplish this in a manageable fashion.

On Saturday the 28th of February, our marquee made another appearance, this time at the Foster show and was again well organised by Kate. Thanks to the helpers we had on the day , they were Kate and Graham, Peter, Colin, George and myself.  Special thankyou to Colin for giving up his Saturday and a Kilo of his Garfield Gold for tasting, as he had two hours travel each way.   We again had a lot of interest in hosting beehives.
Our next outing for the marquee will be at the Wonthaggi Sustainability Festival, March 29th and we will be looking for volunteers to share the wear.  Even a couple of hours would be good.  We can spread the time over many helpers.
You may have noticed the new Honey Flow Hive and it is creating a lot of interest.  Pencil in Sunday the 8th at Midday on ABC Landline where they are doing a feature on this and Manuka Honey in New Zealand.  Should be interesting and well worth a watch.
At our next meeting, we are again lucky to have Peter McDonald speak on his China trip and I’m sure he will discuss how their business has found the season so far.

Happy Bee Keeping

Steve Lovie
Note from the Editor:
Hi Everyone,
Don't forget to click on the link (View this email in your browser) above in the dark green bar to view the entire email if you can't see it all.
Hope you enjoy this month's instalment - Bronwyn
One of our bees foraging on broccoli flowers.
Late broccoli was left to go to seed as the bees just love the flowers with both pollen and nectar on the menu.
From Mark Leech:
Below is an excerpt from an email from Mark Leech thanking the club. Also, at the last club meeting I (Bronwyn) mentioned Sweet Bursaria and said that I had seen a photograph of green comb and honey which was believed to be from Sweet Bursaria flowers. Mark said he thought not and that his Sweet Bursaria honey was not green. He adds further, to his response that night, in his email. 
I just want to formally thank you (Steve), Bronwyn and South Gippsland Beekeepers for such a generous welcome. You are so honouring and its wonderful to be amongst such enthusiastic and passionate people.
To Bronwyn:  My sincere apology Bronwyn regarding the green Bursaria honey.  I am obviously a very new "green" beekeeper, lol.  I spoke to a mentor, Laurie Cowen who has been a very successful commercial beekeeper and I asked him about Bursaria honey without giving the game away.  He said the honey in the comb has a greenish colour. I had seen this in an old Vic flora book that Howard kindly gave me. I was still not convinced as I thought it may be a region phenomena or even a sub-species. BUT!!  thats exactly what it is here as well. Please make this know as I do not want to cause confusion and I thank you for your question.
It does however remain our favourite honey.  Maybe that's because we like characteristic flavours, it has a strong floral bouquet.  As it sets very rapidly we cream it to a fine consistency and its even better, even addictive, haha.
Just loving the pretty flowers


Honey Tasting at March Meeting:

Thanks to all of those who brought honey for tasting last month.
Due to the change of topic and speaker at the February meeting some members didn't bring their honey so we are extending the offer to do so this month.
I am sure everyone will really enjoy sampling some different honeys.
Please label your honey with your name, the area where it was sourced and the flowers, if you know them. 

If you would like people to comment about your honey place a paper and pen with your honey, labelled at the top with your name.
Icy-pole sticks will be provided for the tasting.

March Club Meeting
Peter Mc Donald is coming back to complete his talk on his trip to China - Plus some honey tasting.

Sth Gippsland Sustainability Festival (click HERE for info)
Venus: State Coal Mine
Garden St Wonthaggi

April Club Meeting
Subject will be Packing down for winter. 
Speaker TBA

May Club Meeting
Native Bees Plus Q & A
March Club Meeting - Thurs 12th 7.30pm-9pm

Sustainability Festival - Sun 29th March.  9am - 2pm

April Club Meeting  - Thurs 9th 7.30pm-9pm

May Club Meeting - Thurs 14th 7.30pm-9pm
Club Meetings:
2nd Thursday of each month starting at 7.30pm at  St Peters Anglican Church Hall, Crn McCartin & Bruce St's, Leongatha. The meeting is followed by supper with tea, coffee and nibblies.
Any donations to the supper table are gratefully accepted.

Bee foraging Plant of the Month

Trifolium - (Clover)
Yay it's back!
Flowering from November - March
White Clover - Trillium repens - is reported to be major source of pollen and nectar.

*Clover can be a picky sort of thing where nectar production is concerned, needing a temperature of at least 20c to flow and adequate moisture in the soil if the nectar isn't to dry up too quickly. Drought conditions can affect the nectar flow in many plants even though prevailing temperatures may be perfect. 
Nothing is ever predictable in beekeeping. But when conditions are right you can hardly walk a step across a grassy area for fear of treading on a bee in clover.
*from Green Guides:
 Keeping Bees
by Pam Gregory & Claire Waring
The amount of honey that a hive of bees can make when foraging on clover can be quite astonishing both in the quantity and short time taken to fill a honey super.
When all the stars and planets have aligned and we are all holding our tongues at the right angle, it's time at last for the bees to get going on the clover. A lovely sight indeed!
New Members:
A warm welcome to: 
Jenny O'Sullivan  -  Anna Jones
Paul Goddard  - & -  Gillian Carter
Great to have you all in our club.
Welcome also to Mark Leech who has joined our Newsletter mailing list.

Pictorial of Events

Landcare Workshop Evening
Friday Feb 13th 2015:
The venue was changed from Mossvale Park to Berry's Creek Hall due to the inclement weather. 
'Twas' a dark and stormy night' as the crowds lined up for their Lion's Club snags and tickets of entry at the door.
Inside our little marquee showing the poster displays and the display frame behind glass!
Top: Mark Leech talking about Bee Friendly Planting co-ordination between land-holders and bee-keepers.
Middle Left: Jenny O'Sullivan (Landcare) Middle Right: Some of our members talking about their bee-keeping beginnings
Bottom Left: Howard Stevens sharing some of his beekeeping knowledge.
Bottom Right: Bill Ringin demonstrating the opening and inspection of a bee-hive.

It was a good night with loads of information and ideas thrown around in the hope of a rewarding, symbiotic relationship between land-owners and bee-keepers.
Mark Leech brought a number of his books for sale and had sold out before the meeting began. Orders were taken for books to be posted to those who missed out on taking one home.
A delightful and filling supper followed. Much discussion flowed between land-owners and bee-keepers with names being exchanged for those interested in working together on this Landcare initiative.

Thanks go to Jenny and the Landcare Team for their tireless work in organizing the night and getting it all up and running. Great job.

Foster Show
Feb 28th.

Thanks to those who volunteered their time.
Special thanks to Colin for his honey!
Have you heard about the new Flow Hive?
There has been a huge buzz around the bee-keeping world (literally) regarding a new Australian invention. It is call the Flow Hive which had it's launch this week.
This hive was developed by a father and son in NSW who saw the need for an easier, less invasive and disturbing way of harvesting honey. 
With their hive, the honey can be extracted straight into the jar, if you desire, without even having to open the hive. Sounds impossible doesn't it!
To get the full story click HERE                                                          Pics from the Flow Hive webpage
The SGB does not support or fund any of the books or equipment which may be mentioned in our newsletter.
These articles are simply here as a service; a matter of interest and discussion for new items on the market which you may not have caught up with yet.

Hobby Beekeepers Benefit from New Resource

Australian Beekeeping Guide.

Published: 13 Feb 2015
Author(s): Russell Goodman, Peter Kaczynski

Available Through
Australian Government:
Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation

Australia's honey bee and pollination industries make a fundamental contribution to the Australian economy and way of life. Healthy  honey bee colonies are necessary for the pollination and economic viability of honey bee dependent horticultural and seed crops. In addition to commercial and sideline beekeeping enterprises, thousands of hobby beekeepers through Australia gain considerable recreational pleasure by keeping honey bee colonies.
This book provides basic information to assist beginner and sideline beekeepers. It draws on the knowledge and experience of apiculture scientists, various state and territory apiary inspectors and apiary officers, and most importantly, the many beekeepers who enjoy keeping bees.

Some Silliness
(further to A Beekeepers Diary: Feb. Newsletter)
This is the infamous 'Tower of Bitches' (hive on left). I would hate for you to mistake the hive on the right as the ladies on the right are - well, REAL ladies. This is in contrast to the 'ladies' (as in St.Trinian's School for Young 'Ladies') in the TOB. But having said that, let me say this: We have made peace. Yes, it's true. D & I paid them a visit on Thursday just gone and even though I was, ineffectually, stung on the finger and David twice on his hand, I could see they were trying. After our visit (and later a short stay in a minimum security asylum for the correction of bee related paranoia) I was able to 'Let it Go, Let it Go!'. I had Queen Elsa whizzing around in my head singing her little heart out - Let it Go, Let it Go, I am one with the wind & sky - Let it Go, Let it Go, You'll never see me cry! and felt a great weight lifted off me.  

Equipment Hire

2 day rentals:
Package: Decapping knife, plastic tubs, extractor (& strainer) $30
Decapping knife and tubs $20
Extractor alone $15
A strainer will be available soon
Contact David on 0433 035144 12pm-7pm
Pick-up and drop off from Korumburra or Club meeting

Swarm List

Please contact Sharon Fisher on 5644323 if you wish to be put on the swarm-list. Make sure you are prepared, in case you have to collect the swarm yourself. Let Sharon know if you need help to collect the swarm. 
If you are on the list but no longer want to collect swarms please let Sharon know so that she can remove your name and give the swarm to the next person on the list. Thankyou

Membership Reminder

For anyone who hasn't renewed their
membership for 2014/15
Fees for Singles $46 Family $62
pro-rata fees apply.
The contact details are:
Peter Galt - Ph: 0409953295.
Cheques: Made payable to:
South Gippsland Beekeepers
C/O P. Galt 31 Fairview Ave Yarram 3971

Our Library

Why not take a look at the books that are available for loan at the next meeting. There is a range of books covering many topics.
Just sign the book you take, out of the loans book, and sign it back in again when it is returned.
Borrowing is on a monthly basis so please don't forget to bring your borrowed books back to the next meeting. If it is not wanted by another club member you are welcome to borrow it again for another month. Thanks

Wee Beasties
Top: Preying Mantis showing off the beautiful textures on her thorax and wings.
Middle Left: Lots of to'ing and fro'ing on a hot summer's day.
Middle Right: Mrs Mantis again showing off the beautiful 'eye' spot on her front leg and her abdomen filling up with eggs.
It's so nice to greet these lovelies into my garden as they munch their way through just as many aphids, off my roses, as they can.

Bottom: Cabbage White Butterfly - Do you love them as much as I do? So many hours of my life spent picking their children off my broccoli plants. Grrrrr.

Newsletter Submissions

Any stories, book-reviews, articles, pictures etc will be gratefully received and put into the newsletter subject to approval by the editor.

Q&A: We are always eager to be of assistance to beekeepers old and new so if you have any questions please send them to me and I will do my very best to find an answer for you and will publish the answers.

If you have any questions, suggestions or complaints about the newsletter please contact Bronwyn on 0433035143 or email:
General Club Inquires for new members etc. can be addressed to
Please send newsletter submissions to or if using snail mail, please send to
SGB Newsletter
c/o B Barton
52 Elmores Rd
Korumburra 3950

General Club Inquiries for new members etc. can be addressed to
Mentors List
For those with in-depth or urgent questions, the club has a Mentors List. The updated list can be emailed or sent to you upon request to me, Bronwyn at any of my contact numbers or email addresses in this newsletter.


Fishers Beekeeping Supplies
Rob & Sharon Fisher (Dumbalk area)
56644323 & 0437501133
New website:
Jeeralang Apiary Supplies
60 Koala Drive
Jeeralang Junction
Open by appointment
D & M Photography
Photographs in our newsletters, plus many more, are available for purchase.
A donation of $5 from the sale of each photo goes to the SGB.
To view photos
Contact: David Barton: 0433035144


Basic Minimal ads containing a business description and contact details are available to club members only for Bee-Keeping related wares.
Contact Bronwyn on the link provided or on the phone numbers above.
Executive Committee
Steve Lovie ....... ph: 0488 622890 - 56642277 - email:
Colin Mills ....... ph: 56292803 - email:
Peter Gatehouse ...... ph: 56681815 - 0437 627443 - email:
Bronwyn Barton ....... ph: 56551936 - 0433 035143 - email:
Treasurer (M'ship):    
Peter Galt ....... ph: 0409 953295 email:
Past President:         
Robert Fisher ....... ph: 56644323 mob: 0437501133 email:
All correspondence for the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE can be sent to
Equipment and Property Manager: David Barton 0433035144
Newsletter: Bronwyn Barton ....... ph: 56551936 - email:
Swarm Coordinator: Sharon Fisher ....... ph: 56644323 - email:
Copyright © 2015 SGB, All rights reserved.

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